Film: ‘Get Shorty’ (plus the International State of Anarchy) – “I spent all day crawling out of a grave. The director said that I was incapable of reaching the emotional core of the character.”

Despite good intentions my clearing out of stuff hasn’t been too effective; I ended up surrounded by piles of stuff that I wanted to revisit before making any rash decisions but didn’t have enough time to actually revisit. I also made the mistake of looking at the local housing marketing; all the housing stock currently for sale is really lousy and very ugly – with a surprisingly high price tag.

Combined with listening to rather a lot of Pitchshifter and hearing about the latest irritating antics of a friend’s intellectually-challenged manager I am in a rather anarchistic mood.

get shorty

(Poster for ‘Get Shorty’)

By Anarchy I mean facing up to the lack of a universally recognised governing body for the whole world. By recognising this failing it allows citizens to accept that their Nation State is powerless to truly control their combined fates, that any policies the Government (Democratically elected or otherwise) tries to implement is reliant on other States not interfering – intentionally or otherwise.

At best your elected (?) representatives have to hope for the indifference of their international neighbours and the luck of a favourable wind. With this in mind everyone looks out for themselves at a personal and State level, whilst keeping a paranoid eye on their neighbours. This is the International State of Anarchy and the reason why I hate my neighbours at number (redacted).


(Pitchshifter CD cover)

It was in this mood that I watched ‘Demolition Man’ and ‘The Corporation’, this movie cocktail didn’t exactly jolt me into a rosy tinted view of modern society and the options that it presents. Thinking of cocktails made me covert Walker’s Prawn Cocktail crisps; eating a pack (or so) didn’t improve the state of international relations or put any nice houses up for sale (let alone at a sane price).

However they did make me put on ‘Get Shorty’, the film adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s book of the same name – although it was probably less about crisps and more about how ‘Get Shorty’ is a good visual representation of the Security Dilemma in International Relations.

The Security Dilemma is basically when a Nation State is paranoid about their neighbours (which is constantly due to the aforementioned International State of Anarchy) they take actions to make themselves feel more secure, for example strengthen their army, have high profile practises of military manoeuvres or start making pacts with other Nation States. These actions can make their paranoid neighbours more paranoid, so the neighbours do similar things, which make the original State even more paranoid!

stag hunt

(Picture chosen as a reference to Rousseau, picture from The Guardian)

In short you get a paranoia-fuelled arms race that can bubble over into actual confrontation despite no one deliberately wanting to fight. Which pretty much sums up ‘Get Shorty’ – it’s a smart-mouth film and you get the feeling that Travolta had a lot of fun with his role.

It let me forget about house prices and asshole bosses who aren’t mine; it also gave me the time to hide the piles of stuff awaiting a revisit, which was nice. So I guess this is another film that I can’t donate to the charity shop.

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